8-Year-Old “Success Kid” Needs Your Help to Save His Dad’s Life (PHOTO)
Remember the "Success Kid"? You know, the 11-month-old boy who became an internet staple when his adorable victory face meme went viral? Believe it or not, that kiddo, whose real name is Sammy Griner, is now 8 years old. Ever since his meme took off back in 2010, Sammy has touched people from all walks of life — from sports fans hoping for a win to everyday people simply overcoming life's little tribulations — and now he needs your help.
Sammy's dad, Justin Griner, experienced full kidney failure in 2009, three years after being diagnosed with kidney disease. Justin's survival depends on his ability to undergo a kidney transplant, an expensive surgery that Justin and his wife, Laney Griner, just can't afford. As a result, Laney and Sammy are working to raise $75,000 for Justin on their GoFundMe page.
"One can only survive with no natural kidney function and using article kidney filtering for so long," Laney told Daily Dot. "His energy and mood are affected, he can no longer work, and he spends 12 hours a week in dialysis clinic. Having been on dialysis for this long greatly increases his risks of developing further complications. The only way to save his life is to get a transplant. There's no other way around that."
While Medicare does cover the cost of the transplant itself and 80 percent of the post-surgery costs, there are other expensive treatments that Justin and his family will need to pay for. Justin will likely need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life, which can cost up to $12,000 a year. Laney says that Justin will also need to undergo dental work before he can be considered for the surgery.
Although Laney initially thought about using her son's meme to raise awareness for Justin's condition, she decided against it. She told ABCthat she wanted the campaign to focus solely on her husband. And the good news? Laney and Sammy have already raised $86K in just seven days and more than 4,000 people have contributed to the cause (as of April 15, 2016).
Talk about success, kids!
Will you donate to the cause? Tell us your thoughts, and also be sure to leave your prayers and well wishes for Justin and his family in the comments below!